MONTREAL - Newly crowned North American Boxing Federation (NABF) lightweight champion Dierry "Dougy Style" Jean (26-1, 18 KOs) is targeting the top lightweights in the world.
Fresh of his eight-round technical knockout of Mario Perez (15-5-4) earlier this month for the vacant NABF title, which came five months after Jean lost a unanimous 12-roiund decision (118-111, 116-112, 116-113) to International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior welterweight champion Lamont Peterson,Jean proved that he's a legitimate two-division, world-class contender.
"I felt strong," Jean said about fighting as a lightweight. "It was a little tough getting down in weight, but I can fight effectively at both weights. I didn't go down to lightweight because junior welterweights were too strong for me. I just took advantage of an opportunity to fight at lightweight.
"I'd like to fight any of the world lightweight champions. (Omar) Figueroa is a good fighter. He's strong and a good puncher. I'd like to fight him or the winner of (Terence) Crawford and (Yuriorkis) Gamboa. They're both good boxers. I don't know who is going to win that fight but I think Gamboa."
Jean is currently rated No. 7 as a junior welterweight by the IBF and, as the NABF champion, he should crack the next World Boxing Council's (WBC) top 15 ratings.
"We want a title shot as soon as possible," Jean's promoter Camille Estephan emphatically commented. "Figueroa, the Crawford-Gamboa winner, (Richard) Abril or (Miguel) Vasquez....anyone of them. Dierry was very impressive as a lightweight. His energy level was higher and he was strong. It was probably the first time he fought somebody the same size. He's always been fighting bigger guys as a junior welterweight. We feel that he'll be a monster at lightweight. He will crush anybody and we're certain he'll be as much of a force as a lightweight as he was as at 140 pounds. We're looking for big fights!"
Jean may have suffered his first loss as a professional to Peterson but some positives also came out of that fight for the Haitian native who lives in Montreal. The invaluable experience he gained fighting in a world title fight and everything surrounding it has made him an even better fighter.
"I gained experience and learned how to better control myself in and out of the ring," Jean concluded. "I know I can fight with world champions. I can be me, using my style of fighting, something I didn't do against Peterson because it was so stressful fighting for the first time in a world championship. Now, I've been through all of that, and I will do much better the next time I'm in a world title fight."